It turns out sterilising bottles isn’t necessary for healthy babies, according to most experts. In fact, hot water, a squirt of washing-up liquid (as long as it’s not the antibacterial kind), and a soft bottle brush are all you need to clean your baby’s bottle. Here’s how:
- If possible, rinse the bottle and teat straight after every feed. This will help prevent the milk from getting caked on, which makes it more difficult to remove later.
- When cleaning several bottles at a time, save time (and use less water) by putting the dirty bottles in a large bowl of hot water and soap suds. Brush thoroughly around the inside of each bottle and teat to make sure you’re removing any milk residue and the bacteria that love to thrive in moist places.
- Thoroughly rinse each item and allow to air-dry on a bottle rack.
- If you have the room, it’s ideal to save part of your kitchen worktop only for drying bottles and preparing formula. Preparing food next to bottles could potentially contaminate them.
Can’t I just put them in the dishwasher?
If you’re fortunate enough to have one then the answer is yes. Studies show the 70°C wash most machines operate is more than enough to rinse away bacteria without damaging the bottles. Before loading bottles and teats, give them a rinse and a quick once-over with your bottle brush. Manufacturers recommend you place bottles on the top rack for the best clean.
When you should sterilise bottles
Bottle sterilisation is recommended for babies who are premature or who have immune disorders, and before using brand-new bottles for children of any age.
To sterilise bottles, simply break up into parts, drop into a pot of water, heat to boiling and wait five minutes. Remove everything with sterile tongs and place on a paper towel to dry.